Register now for the EACTS Aortic Valve Repair Summit 2022 – 23 – 24 June | Rome, Italy

Don’t miss the EACTS Aortic Valve Repair Summit that will take place as an in-person meeting in Rome from 23-24 June 2022. This excellent two-day programme consists of live surgical cases, interactive lectures, live-in-a-box videos, abstract presentations, intellectual challenges and fruitful debates.

The Summit brings together the different schools in aortic valve repair with educational modules covering all aspects that are necessary to approach the disease of the aortic valve and root. Anatomy, physiology and all aspects of imaging will be considered and integrated with the various surgical options and the different surgical strategies. State-of-the-art surgical treatment will be shown and discussed with formal presentations and live surgical cases. A special focus is devoted to the bicuspid aortic valve and its close relationship with the root aneurysm.

Who should attend?

The Summit will appeal to cardiac surgeons, echocardiographers (cardiologists and anaesthesiologists), radiologists and advanced residents interested in the field of valve repair.

VIEW THE PROGRAMME AND REGISTER NOW Continue reading “Register now for the EACTS Aortic Valve Repair Summit 2022 – 23 – 24 June | Rome, Italy”

The 36th EACTS Annual Meeting – registration is now open

Register today and join colleagues from around the world in the magnificent Italian city of Milan to learn together at the largest event for the cardiothoracic community.

For 2022 you will experience a feast of world class education and science, including:

  • Two innovative Techno-College programmes featuring innovations and technological breakthroughs in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery
  • Presentations from global experts on the latest surgical techniques
  • Discussions on the latest clinical practice guidelines
  • Debates on hot topics, such as results from clinical trials
  • Rapid Response abstract sessions
  • Interactive, hands on training opportunities
  • Presentations and Q&As on selected abstracts
  • Industry led satellite symposia
  • Extensive exhibition featuring the latest innovations from industry
  • Honoured Guest keynote presentation
  • The EACTS President’s annual address
  • A myriad of opportunities to network with peers and colleagues from around the world

 

EACTS’ domains and taskforces are preparing a packed programme to bring you expert speakers on the issues that matter. You will be able to participate in key debates alongside global experts and experience our focus, abstract and professional challenge sessions.

The 36th EACTS Annual Meeting will be THE event in the cardiothoracic calendar – don’t miss out!

Starting on Wednesday 5th October with a full day showcasing new technology and innovation in our Techno College sessions, our world-class science will continue over the next 3 days (6-8 October). Full details of the scientific programme will be available soon.

“The EACTS Annual Meeting is the meeting point for all cardiac surgeons around the world. There is no way I would miss it!” Theo Kofidis, Singapore

“Europe is really the hub of innovation. The latest techniques and procedure often come out of Europe so to be able to come back and meet all the great people and experts in their field is a phenomenal opportunity for learning and growth.” Juan Umana, Columbia.

Find out more about the 36th EACTS Annual Meeting HERE

New for 2022 – EACTS TV!

We are excited to announce – new for 2022 – the EACTS premium TV channel! Delegates can watch live in the exhibition centre or virtually online as we get the low down from our expert panelists and key opinion leaders, with one-to-one interviews, punditry and an opportunity for live audience participation and discussion. This will be an exciting addition to our programme giving you even more access to experienced surgeons, their specialist knowledge, and their immediate reactions to important scientific sessions.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore, discover and educate – register HERE today!

EACTS Statement: Regarding TAVI

In Portugal, there is increased pressure to perform TAVI without on-site cardiac surgery. In response, we would like to reiterate the importance of the 2021 EACTS/ESC Valvular Heart Disease guidelines that require on-site cardiac surgery and cardiology departments at any valve centre performing TAVI. 

Read our full statement below.

To Whom It May Concern,

There is increasing pressure to perform transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) without on-site cardiac surgery. We would like to highlight the importance of the 2021 EACTS/ESC Valvular Heart Disease guidelines that require on-site cardiac surgery and cardiology departments at any valve centre performing TAVI. This letter is intended to clarify the reasons for this position.

The EACTS/ESC guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease state that valve interventions must be undertaken in Heart Valve Centres. The main purpose of these centres is to deliver optimal quality of care with a patient-centred approach. This requires established cardiology and cardiac surgery departments with 24-hr/7-day services. On-site cardiac surgery departments optimise TAVI care by enhancing:

  • Patient selection and procedural planning
  • Procedural performance
  • Management of complications and post-procedural care.

TAVI has shown exponential growth around the world, surpassing surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) in numbers. Morbidity and mortality have been decreasing. However, major complications requiring extra-corporeal support and urgent cardiac surgery remain steady at 0.8-1%, and these urgent interventions carry a high mortality (10-30%).

Parallels between the development of PCI and TAVI have been made, with increasing calls to not require on-site cardiac surgery, as the outcomes of centres without on-site cardiac surgery are reported not to differ significantly from those with on-site cardiac surgery. It is important to note that TAVI differs in two distinct ways from PCI:

  1. Urgent PCI in acute coronary syndromes saves muscle and lives. Having access to PCI without delay for transfer, to minimize door-to-balloon times, justifies having PCI units distributed within the population. TAVI is rarely, if ever, urgent. There is always time to stabilise and transfer a patient with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis.
  2. Although major complications of TAVI are rare, they carry a very high mortality, and the results of high-volume, expert heart teams have shown that many of these patients can be saved. As we expand into low-risk patients and many more procedures, there will be an increasing number of patients who require urgent cardiac surgery, and who could have undergone elective SAVR. It is not ethical to propose TAVI without an institutional department of cardiac surgery.

Furthermore, there is evidence to support that the larger the volume, the better the outcomes in TAVI. Creating smaller, low volume units without on-site cardiac surgery risks splitting the TAVI volumes and affecting patient outcomes. In addition, it is unlikely that centres without on-site cardiac surgery have the same advanced critical care units required for cardiac surgery. As a result, these patients would not benefit from the same level of care being available.

In light of the information and evidence above, we would like to repeat the importance of a true Heart Team approach for the management of valvular heart disease, in accordance with our guideline recommendations.

Kindest regards.

Patrick Myers (Secretary General Elect)

Rafa Sádaba (Secretary General)

Friedhelm Beyersdorf (President)

Filip Casselman (Chair, Acquired Cardiac Disease Domain)

References

  1. Beyersdorf F, Vahanian A, Milojevic M, Praz F, Baldus S, Bauersachs J, Capodanno D, Conradi L, De Bonis M, De Paulis R, Delgado V, Freemantle N, Gilard M, Haugaa KH, Jeppsson A, Jüni P, Pierard L, Prendergast BD, Sádaba JR, Tribouilloy C, Wojakowski W, ESC/EACTS Scientific Document Group. 2021 ESC/EACTS Guidelines for the management of valvular heart diseaseDeveloped by the Task Force for the management of valvular heart disease of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS). Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2021;60(4):727-800. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezab389.
  2. Mylote D, Head SJ, Kappetein AP, Piazza N. TAVI at institutions without cardiovascular surgery departments: why? EuroIntervention 2014;10:539-541.
  3. Smith CR. Emergency cardiac surgery following TAVI: implications for the future, European Heart Journal 2018;39(8):685-686.

TSF/FFF International Traveling Fellowship inaugural recipients announced

Through a collaborative  effort between The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS), two standout young surgeons recently each received $20,000 (€16,500) in fellowship grants to learn new techniques used by institutions across the world.

Amy G. Fiedler, MD, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW-Madison), and Gianluca Folesani, MD, from Sant’Orsola Malpighi Polyclinic in Bologna, Italy, have been recognised as the inaugural recipients of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF)/Francis Fontan Fund (FFF) International Traveling Fellowship. TSF and FFF are the charitable arms of STS and EACTS, respectively.

“The way cardiac surgery kind of starts and stops and then moves and tacks is a little different on the two continents,” said TSF President Joseph E. Bavaria, MD. “For example, the regulatory agencies approve different techniques and different devices that we use in cardiac surgery at different rates. So if you want to have exposure to something that is brand new, you may have to go to Europe to do that. Or you may have to come to the United States for that—it goes in both directions.”

The TSF/FFF Fellowship—established in 2021—will help fund international travel and living expenses, allowing the awardees to continue their education outside of their home countries. This fellowship also will allow Dr. Fiedler and Dr. Folesani to learn novel techniques, adapt innovative technology, and receive training from expert mentors who are dedicated to the highest standards of cardiothoracic surgery.

With her fellowship, Dr. Fiedler plans to learn skills and administrative approaches that will help her expand the heart transplant programme at UW-Madison, where she currently serves as associate director of heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. She will study under Stephen Large, MD, MA, FRCS, at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England.

“Professor Large and his team are at the forefront of innovation with respect to nonthermic regional perfusion heart transplantation,” said Dr. Fiedler. “They have managed to increase the volume of heart transplantation at their center by over 30% due to their innovative techniques, which I hope to acquire. I feel honored and privileged to receive the International Traveling Fellowship. I look forward to a fruitful partnership, and I thank TSF, FFF, and the organizations’ generous donors for this incredible opportunity.”

Dr. Folesani, who is accomplished in performing aortic and mitral valve surgery and myocardial revascularization procedures, intends to use his fellowship to learn minimally invasive techniques on aortic and mitral valves. “I am also fascinated by robotic surgery, and I would love to learn robotic techniques in order to hopefully start a robotic programme in my center,” he said. “I am honored to be given the opportunity to be mentored by Professor Joseph Bavaria of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where we will be linking three Philadelphia institutions for a complete robotic experience with three different institutional approaches.”

He plans to receive robotics training at Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia under the mentorship of T. Sloane Guy, MD, MBA, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia under Pavan Atluri, MD, and Main Line Health’s Lankenau Heart Institute in Wynnewood under Francis P. Sutter, DO.

“I am absolutely thrilled and feel very privileged to receive the TSF/FFF International Traveling Fellowship,” Dr. Folesani said. “I am a young cardiac surgeon and the award is such a great opportunity to enrich my education by learning from the experts in the field.”

Each fellow also will have the opportunity to attend one another’s annual meetings—Dr. Folesani to attend STS 2023 in San Diego, and Dr. Fiedler to attend EACTS 2022 in Milan.

Dr. Fiedler and Dr. Folesani were selected from 21 applicants through a rigorous and competitive process.

“Good preparation is of the essence,” said EACTS Secretary General J. Rafael Sádaba, MD, PhD, FRCS(C-Th). “I would advise applicants to do their homework, choose well what they want to do and where they want to go. They should try to make sure that what they are aiming to achieve is not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit of their centre or institution—and for the benefit of the patients that he or she will be treating back home.”

Applications for the 2023 TSF/FFF Fellowship will open this summer.

EACTS appoints new Publications Director

EACTS has appointed Ash Merrifield as Publications Director. Ash will oversee and build on the success of the Association’s hugely popular journals, the subscription-based European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and the open access Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery.

“I am delighted to have joined EACTS,” said Ash. “I look forward to working with the editorial teams to ensure that the EACTS publications portfolio continues to see growth, in reach and impact, year on year. Having spent eight years at two of the leading STM publishers and more recently at Radcliffe Cardiology, I am looking forward to a new challenge and to supporting EACTS’ mission to lead the way in publishing high-quality research across the field of cardiac, thoracic and vascular interventions, helping to drive education and improve cardiothoracic outcomes in practice.

“I would like to sincerely thank the team in Freiburg, Judy Gaillard, Dr. Franziska Lüder, Melanie Künzie, Josephine Menke and Lin Müller, for all their hard work and support of the journals over the years. I would also like to thank Dr. Lüder for providing such a smooth and thorough handover during the transition period. Their help and guidance in my initial few weeks has been invaluable. I think I can safely say, the team in Freidburg have all had a profound and lasting impact on the journals.”

EACTS News – latest issue out now

Read the latest issue of EACTS News to keep up to date with the latest news and developments at EACTS.

In the December issue we speak to new EACTS President Friedhelm Beyersdorf to learn more about his goals for the organisation and look to the year ahead with Academy Director, Aaron Ranasinghe.

In this issue, you can also find out more about:

  • The new Chairs of the EACTS Domains
  • Updates from the EACTS Committees
  • Highlights from the 35th EACTS Annual Meeting
  • The latest news about the Fellowships programme
  • EACTS’ new Director for Publishing
  • How EACTS support quality improvement through EUROMACS and the Adult Cardiac Database

 

 

EACTS’ new President, Friedhelm Beyersdorf, sets out his vision for the year

At the Annual Meeting Presidential Dinner in Barcelona, Mark Hazekamp passed on the Presidential chain to EACTS’ new President, Friedhelm Beyersdorf. Friedhelm is Medical Director at the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Heart Center of the University Hospital Freiburg, Bad Krozingen. He has been an EACTS Council member since 2002 and was its Editor-in-Chief from 2010 to 2020. He has spoken to EACTS News about his role as President and his goals for the coming year.

“I’m very proud that the EACTS membership has elected me as their President for the coming year.

“EACTS is the largest cardiothoracic society in Europe and among the three largest societies of its kind in the world. From its starting point in 1986, it has made tremendous progress. The EACTS Annual Meeting is one of the largest of its kind in the world and attracts thousands of participants.

“Cardiothoracic surgery is a huge field today, and I believe that my role is to be President for all EACTS members, for all the regions around the world, and for all the sub-specialties. It is an honour, but it also comes with challenges.

“I would like to help and further develop all the sub-specialties because these are the core of EACTS. No single sub-specialty is more important than another, and I think this is at the heart of our strength. Since we have so many sub-specialties, we also have relationships with many sister societies. I want to improve and develop our relations with those sister societies. This includes all the other cardiothoracic surgery societies around the world, whether they are in East Europe, North, Middle and South America or Asia. I also want to strengthen our ties to scientific societies working in the same field, such as anaesthetists, and to pure research societies.

“I also think that it is important that we reach out to the allied health professionals. This means everybody from perfusionists to nurses and physiotherapists. There are many other professions who also care for our patients, and we need to have better contact with them and to work closer with them.

“We also need to build a better relationship with patient societies, so bodies such as the British Heart Foundation, the American Heart Association and others. Right now we are in contact with a worldwide patient-centred society and we are building new bonds between them and our Assocation.

“I have three key goals for the year ahead. The first goal is that we have to prove and demonstrate the results of our work for patients compared to alternative forms of treatment.

“This is already being done extensively. We will continue showing what cardiothoracic surgeons can do for patients, what the medical community can do, and point out the tremendous progress which has been made over the past years to improve the results of our therapy.

“There are advantages and disadvantages to every approach, and our job is to find the right solution for an individual patient. This has become more and more demanding because today there are so many options when in the past there was normally just the one.

“Having many options also means there are many discussions to have with patients, which could discourage them because they might get the impression that nobody really knows what’s happening. This is one of the reasons why we are trying to create better contact with patient societies. We must translate what we are saying into a language that patients can understand.

“The second goal is to communicate that cardiothoracic surgery has extremely good results.

“Mitral valve repair techniques have a mortality rate of less than 1%, which is unbelievable. When congenital cardiac surgery started in the 1950s, mortality was at 60 to 70%. Today the mortality is less than 5% for all kinds of congenital heart defects and for some even less than 1%. It’s extremely safe. Coronary bypass surgery is safe. This is what we need to demonstrate to the world. We must make our good results public.

“The third goal, and a big role for the President, is to open more doors for innovation in cardiothoracic surgery.

“The success of cardiothoracic surgery rests on the fact that we now treat many diseases that could not be treated before. We started with congenital cardiac surgery, then valve surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting, aortic surgery, transplantation, artificial hearts. The entire field of cardiothoracic surgery was built within two or three decades from zero to a point today where it is extremely safe.

“But we need to keep innovating, and as President I would like to foster research and innovation in all four Domains of our Association – acquired cardiac disease, congenital heart disease, thoracic disease, and vascular disease. Perhaps because we have been so successful in our field we have lost sight a little of the utmost importance of innovation?

“We still have many diseases that cannot be treated today. For example, there is no treatment for atherosclerosis. We do know that smoking, diabetes, hypertension and high lipids are risk factors, but we do not know what really causes it. We can perform bypasses and put in stents to help people, but the disease itself cannot be treated. This is just one example. You could say that the ageing process is like a disease. The symptoms are very similar – joint pain, atherosclerosis, cancer, and neurologic problems. Though modern medicine and techniques have greatly increased the average life expectancy, we have not increased the absolute age. And yet I think there are techniques today that we can use to treat the diseases of ageing. As you can imagine, I think cardiothoracic surgery has a great role to play here.

“I’m very aware of the fact that one year is a short time to get anything done as President.

“While being President has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages! Why one year? Because we want to involve as many members as possible in the EACTS organisation, we want it to be something that really is open to everybody.

“I am preparing a proposal for the next executive meeting that covers all the three goals I would like to address. Of course, everything must go through this formal process, but I do hope that people will agree with me and support me.

“But I can see that there are some really very good things coming over the horizon during the next 12 months. We just have to be open to include these developments in our armamentarium. So I’m very positive about the future of EACTS and of cardiothoracic surgery in general. I think it looks great and I’m happy that I can be a big part of it.”

2022 Academy calendar now available

The EACTS Academy offers a full suite of courses designed to help our members benefit from the knowledge and skills of experienced surgeons around the world.

Whether you’re in training or an established surgeon EACTS Academy offers the right course at the right time in your career.

Take a look at the 2022 Academy calendar and start planning your career goals for the new year.

  • Level 1: For residents in training with the course content closely allied to the EBCTS syllabus
  • Level 2: For residents in the final years of training and for surgeons at the beginning of independent practice
  • Level 3: For surgeons established in independent practice
  • Conferences/summits

Opportunity to join the EACTS Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Committee

The EACTS Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Committee is looking for two dynamic women who are training in cardiothoracic surgery to join the committee and help support the development of female cardiothoracic surgeons. 

This is an exciting opportunity to represent all the trainee members of EACTS to support the continuing professional development of female cardiothoracic surgeons through education, mentorship, Fellowships and networking.  

In addition to helping to promote gender equality, the appointed members will have a role in developing the mentorship programme, maintaining a contemporary database of all female trainees and disseminating the learning opportunities made available by EACTS. 

How to apply 

Applications in the form of a brief CV and a statement of 500 words explaining how you can contribute to the work of the Committee should be sent to womenscommittee@eacts.co.uk

Last date for application is 31st December 2021